The majority of us can remember dreading homework when we were younger, doing anything possible to avoid it – stressing out our parents, teachers and especially ourselves in the process. Perhaps if it were made fun (while still educational of course) we wouldn’t have made such a fuss!
The team here at Early Learning Furniture are dedicated to providing high quality, UK manufactured classroom furniture for pre-school, reception and key stage 1 and 2. We also offer an extensive range of products that can be used in the home to improve your child’s learning and homework experience. Early learning is our field of expertise, so here are 10 ways both parents and teachers can mix up homework to make it more exciting.
1. Participate in Homework Time
Statistics show that parents who play an active role in their child’s homework or school work do much better in terms of grades.
Avoid just siting them down at a desk and letting them get on with it, your knowledge is invaluable to them and it will contribute towards their development.
2. Watch Movies or Documentaries
Movies and documentaries may sound contradictory to homework but not all children learn in the same way. In fact there are three primary styles of learning, one of which every child will have a preference towards.
For visual and auditory learners an educational movie or documentary could prove to be much more beneficial for their development, while making their learning experience more engaging and exciting.
3. Play Games
Children love playing, so why not incorporate that into their studies? This can range from flash cards in order to learn vocabulary or mathematics to online educational video games. There are a variety of websites dedicated specifically to providing fun and educational games for children such as Learning Games for Kids or Fun Brain.
At Early Learning Furniture we have created a wide range of themed homework activities, creative worksheets, colouring in pages and other visual activities to help your children learn, you can download them direct from our FREE Teaching Downloads page.
4. Hold Contests
Kids can be quite competitive, use this as a way to engage them in their studies. Hold a study group for your child and their friends and make a contest out of it, this can be anything from a quiz to a homemade version of your favourite board game.
Reward them with a prize as an incentive for doing well, but make sure you don’t make whoever doesn’t win feel bad or embarrassed.
5. Offer Incentives
An incentive can be offered as a reward for completing a task, for example when your child finishes a section of their homework questions, treat them!
It doesn’t have to be big or cost a lot, just personalise the incentive specific to your child's interests, you know them better than anyone.
6. Make Reading an Adventure
Reading is such an important part of development in the early years. Make this a shared experience and read together, or ask your child to read aloud to you helping them along the way if they get stuck at all.
To mix things up a bit ask them questions throughout chapters to engage them and make sure they are understanding what they are reading.
If your child gets bored easily while reading try using different voices for different characters, or even acting out extracts from the book with other family members in order to engage them and keep them interested.
7. Set Up a Homework Area
Having a quiet and comfortable place for your child to study and do their homework in peace is essential to building good homework habits. Work with your child when creating a homework area and take into consideration what they want. It is important to ensure that this area is quiet and free from any distractions.
Personalise and have some fun with it to make your child feel more comfortable their space. Children are proud of the things they create, so get them to hang their favourite work on the wall for inspiration and motivation, this also helps to prevent paperwork clutter.
8. Get Rid of Distractions
Get rid of any distractions so your child can focus on their work. This means turn off any mobile phones, televisions, computers, gaming devices and music players. Removing these items should enable your child to focus on the task at hand.
In some cases you are able to turn a distraction into a learning device as explained above, such as documentaries on TV and learning games on the computer.
Routine for all children is key. Find a homework routine that works best for your child, you many not find it straight away but you can experiment a little!
Try completing homework straight after school while they are in school mode and see if that is something they prefer. If not try just after dinner or before dinner. Every child will be different, just make sure they aren’t leaving their homework until the last minute as this can be stressful on both you and your child.
Once you have found what your child prefers, make sure they stick to it consistently and it will soon become a habit they get into every day.
Last but not least, make sure you are providing your child with breaks during their study time. Taking breaks is scientifically proven to improve the ability to retain the information you are learning.
Breaks only need to be a few minutes long and give your child a chance to revitalise with a healthy drink, light snack or even some brief physical exercise.